Billy Joel welcomed Olivia Rodrigo as a surprise guest at Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday night during his 82nd consecutive sold-out show to introduce her hit single “Deja Vu” and his own 1983 hit “Uptown Girl,” which released almost 20 years before Rodrigo was even born.
Dressed in a plunging black top, brown patterned skirt and black leather boots, Rodrigo acknowledged Joel’s influence on her songwriting with “Deja Vu,” which references both Joel and “Uptown Girl.” The couple hugged warmly and followed the latter.
Alongside a steady stream of hits like “Just the Way You Are,” “Allentown,” “Only the Good Die Young,” and “My Life,” Wednesday’s show included rarities like the opening “A Matter of Trust” (played for the first time since 2019 and featuring Joel on electric guitar instead of piano), “I Go to Extremes” and “The Downeaster Alexa” (featuring a rousing solo by guitarist Tommy Byrnes).
Joel was in good, self-deprecating form all night, warning the crowd that he might not hit an important high note on “An Innocent Man” (he hit it pretty well), and thanking Harry Styles for “taking a. Took the night off” had 15 shows on MSG “so we could squeeze in.”
Rodrigo, 19, is no stranger to including covers in her own sets, which mostly consist of songs from inspirations like Avril Lavigne (“Complicated”), Veruca Salt (“Seether”) or No Doubt (“Just a Girl”). The pop superstar wrapped up a tour in support of her hit debut 2021 album Sour with a July 6-7 booth at London’s Eventim Apollo. “Sour” received three Grammy wins, including Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist for Rodrigo.
Joel, 73, has sold more than 1.5 million tickets and grossed more than $181 million with his MSG residency, which began in 2014 and previously featured surprise guests from Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Paul Simon and Miley starred Cyrus and John Mellencamp.
Joel’s final four shows of the year at the venue are scheduled for September 9th, October 9th, November 23rd and December 19th.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will also visit Houston’s Minute Maid Park on September 23 and Atlanta’s ATLive Festival on November 11, before one-off shows in Auckland on December 3 and Melbourne on December 10 – his first visits to this part of the world in 14 years.
Watch Joel’s introduction to Rodrigo and the duo’s performance below.
https://variety.com/2022/music/news/billy-joel-olivia-rodrigo-joins-madison-square-garden-deja-vu-uptown-girl-1235350265/ Olivia Rodrigo joins Billy Joel for ‘Deja Vu’, ‘Uptown Girl’ in NYC